I've been browsing vim's help and noticed there are some topics which have multiple E### tags and others with just a single E### tag. I'm curious as to what the significance of these E### tags are. My initial thoughts were they could be "Edits" or "Errors" but I couldn't find any definitive answer in my research.

I found the vim help tags file https://vimhelp.org/tags.html but that didn't help me come up with a conclusion on what these tags are. It was strange that E was used but E[1-9] were not.

For example:

:fu :function E128 E129 E123 are all tags for one topic

:topleft E442 only has a single E### tag

  • 1
    I just realize that I didn't completely understood your question so my answer might not be what you asked. I don't understand what you are talking about with the help topics having a single E, the only one I can find is the one for the motion E :h E, the other ones with digits after the E are definitely error codes.
    – statox
    Apr 28, 2021 at 14:44
  • The vim help tags say there is a E tag that maps to motions.txt but I guess you can't invoke it with :help E.
    – Kasper-34
    Apr 28, 2021 at 21:25
  • Why couldn't you? Try it yourself :help E opens this help page
    – statox
    Apr 29, 2021 at 9:12
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    Oh, sorry. I misunderstood. I made the wrong connection seeing the tags in the format of E motion.txt \E I thought E was mapped to the top of motion.txt not specifically the E motion key within the motion.txt file. I was still expecting E with no numbers to be a error code tag. Seems error codes/tags start at E10.
    – Kasper-34
    Apr 29, 2021 at 14:42

1 Answer 1


The help topics of the form Exxx where x are digits are simply errors. You can have a look at :h errors to see the different error messages.

When such a tag appears next to an "regular" tag it just indicates that the error is related to this topic. This way if you ever get:

E128: Function name must start with a capital

You can use :h E128 to get to the doc related to functions.

  • Yeah, you are correct. They are error codes. After some more digging under :help 02.8 there is a section near the bottom that specifically explains that Exxx are error IDs. It was strange to see multiple on a single topic, and that made me think there was a different meaning to them.
    – Kasper-34
    Apr 28, 2021 at 21:29

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